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Lincoln Revival To Not Include Rear Wheel Drive, Brand Identity; Core Models To Remain Center Stage

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On: Sat, Nov 28, 2015 at 9:57AM | By: Carl Malek

Lincoln Revival To Not Include Rear Wheel Drive, Brand Identity; Core Models To Remain Center Stage

With the recent resurgence of Lincoln these days, it is easy to forget that just a few years ago Ford was ready to put the proverbial axe to Lincoln. With sales that were on life support, and models that failed to standout in the crowded luxury market, things looked bleak for Ford's luxury division. However, thanks to new models such as the MKC crossover, as well as the updated MKZ, sales have seen a 7.3 percent increase through the month of October and look to continue their trend upward through the month of November. While the 2017 MKZ debuts a new and improved styling language, Lincoln representatives revealed that the brand still plans to keep a calculated pace in its revival plans.

This means that the brand will remain committed to enhancing its brand identity as well as its core products versus embarking on niche products that may yield less of a profit, like a rear-wheel drive two door coupe that many enthusiasts have clamored for, especially if it is based on the Ford Mustang. "Luxury coupes and sports cars are not the first place we need to go," revealed Global Lincoln Director Matt Dyke in a statement to reporters from Automotive News. Instead, Lincoln is aiming to use the 2017 MKZ as an opportunity to distance itself from Ford (a habit that dogged the company for years, and was what ultimately doomed Mercury before it was axed in 2011). This will be evident in the way the brand will badge the new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that will make its debut in the 2017 MKZ. Instead of using Ford's EcoBoost name, it will simply carry a 3.0T badge. While the MKZ will still be a few steps short of being known as a formal sports car, the engine will certainly make a compelling case for such a classification with 400 horsepower on tap, and the availability of an optional Drivers Package.

In addition to the MKZ, Lincoln will be launching three new models by 2020, one of them being the flagship Lincoln Continental sedan. The other two are murky at this point, but rumors suggest that the second model could be an all-new Aviator model that would slot below the Navigator in the brand's CUV/SUV lineup, with the MKC serving as the entry-level offering. The third model could very well be the Navigator itself when the big ute undergoes its first significant update in a few years. The current model was recently refreshed, but its age is still evident in its platform as well as its exterior styling. Lincoln would love to steal sales from the current generation Escalade, and revive a rivalry that the two had before the second and third generation Escalade models eclipsed the Navigator, and built up a sizable sales lead as a result.

It will be interesting to see what other moves Lincoln will make in the near future as it continues its efforts to revive itself as a serious contender in the luxury car segment. Hopefully, when the brand is on more secure footing and has enough capital in its coffers, it can perhaps dust off the idea of a sports car and continue the path laid out by past sporty offerings such as the Mark VII as well as the Jaguar-derived Lincoln LS.


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